The endowment fund is a permanent fund established to support specific purposes at the University of Manitoba. Each year, a portion of the investment return is used to support current year programs and therefore contributes to the quality of teaching, student accessibility, research, athletics, and public service at the University.
Each individual endowed account is pooled for investment purposes and tracked using unit accounting, similar to a mutual fund. The unitized pool is referred to as the University Investment Trust (UIT), and the use of a pooled fund concept ensures new gifts purchase units and receive a pro-rata share of earnings, while existing account holders maintain their equitable ownership in the pool. The pooled fund concept also allows all endowment account holders to take advantage of the diversification benefits available to large institutional investors like the University of Manitoba.
The endowment is managed by the Trust Investment Committee (the Committee), which is an advisory committee to the Board of Governors, and as such makes recommendations on all matters related to the investment and distribution of endowment assets. Members of the Committee are appointed under the authority of the Board, and are accountable to the Board through the Finance, Administration, and Human Resources Committee. The Committee establishes guidelines for investing assets, and is responsible for hiring and reviewing investment managers. This includes establishing the investment mandates for each asset class and the review of performance for each mandate, as well as the overall portfolio, to ensure that the goals and objectives of the endowment are being achieved.
The endowment fund is comprised primarily of gifts from donors to provide long-term funding for designated purposes. Donors generally specify a particular purpose for their gifts, creating endowments that fund faculty and school support (34 per cent), student awards (40 per cent), chairs and professorships (12 per cent), research (8 per cent), library support (4 per cent), and various other areas (2 per cent). The annual distributions from the endowment fund provide for this support, with $20.7 million being allocated for the current year, and a total of $87.5 million allocated over the past five years.